Class of 2015

Robert Sanchez

“You’ve got to be comfortable not being the smartest person in the room,” says Robert Sanchez. “You need to listen to people smarter than you. They have great ideas. Your job is to bring those ideas out and have the team rally around the best one.”…

Paul Diaz

Paul Diaz began his health care-career with degrees in finance, accounting, and law. He parlayed those competencies at Kindred Healthcare and encourages others to do the same. “Life,” he says, “is about leveraging all of your collective experience.”…

Luis Sierra

Luis Sierra had the benefit of witnessing his father’s self-made success, but “so many Latino kids lack role models,” says Sierra. “I really enjoy coming out and exposing them to the wonderful variety of things they can strive to be in life.”…

Robert Sanchez

“You’ve got to be comfortable not being the smartest person in the room,” says Robert Sanchez. “You need to listen to people smarter than you. They have great ideas. Your job is to bring those ideas out and have the team rally around the best one.”…

Clarissa Cerda

“I have dared to dream,” says Clarissa Cerda, “and much of my career has been marked by dreams that have come true along the way.” The LifeLock executive followed those dreams from Chicago to Harvard to the White House and beyond, but she’s not done aspiring yet….

R. Martin Chavez

R. Martin Chavez’s father made sure his son knew the importance of technology. A single word, computers, set him on a path to success. “If we tell these kids early on that math and computers are important, and you have everything it takes,” says Chavez, “I think we’d get to a very different place.”…

Paula Arrojo

“People tend to hire, promote, and nurture people that remind them of themselves,” says Paula Arrojo, but the financial advisor is optimistic that there are ways to improve access to Latino talent for leadership positions, especially if companies focus on cultivating them early in their careers….

Marcos Gonzalez

“We (Latinos), are being left out of the STEM ecosystem,” says Marcos Gonzalez. Investing in Latino-led, tech-enabled companies is important to the advisory firm partner because, as he puts it, “If we aren’t present, we will see very little of that wealth in our community.” …

Marie Quintero-Johnson

Marie Quintero-Johnson paid her dues carrying out secret ops for Coca-Cola, but even tenacity can use a sponsor. After others helped her, she is committed to paying it forward. She wants to be a great manager and sponsor of the people who work for her—Coca-Cola’s future leaders….

Miriam Rivera

“The things that make the difference in peoples’ lives are the investments they make in others and the people who invest in them,” says Miriam Rivera, who found champions of her success in teachers and mentors who encouraged her confidence by fostering inclusive environments….

Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez

Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez’s family business is no mom-and-pop shop. Urban Health Plan is a diamond of the Bronx, and her focus is the well-being of the entire community. “We realized it’s not just health care that needs reforming—it’s all of the other factors that people in poverty face.”…

Kim Rivera

Kim Rivera’s path to the C-suite was nontraditional, but she insists it’s important to have confidence in offering a different perspective to get there. “There’s huge value in that,” she says. “Maybe [you feel] you don’t have something unique to offer, but the truth is, almost everyone does.”…

Pedro Lichtinger

Pedro Lichtinger recognizes the strength in others’ diversity and global perspectives. He advocates for his peers to do the same. “People of different cultures participate and lead differently,” he says….

Ana Pinczuk

“It’s even more important for women and minorities to build our networks,” she says. “It is through these interactions and relationships that we gain access to opportunities for growth.”…

Jose Fernandez

Latinos shouldn’t need a “big break” to participate in higher education, but as Jose Fernandez knows, many young people assume that higher education is out of reach, he says. “I was lucky …

Maria Lopez-Bresnahan

The path to success was clear for Maria Lopez-Bresnahan, but it isn’t always for Latinos who pursue the STEM fields. “[Mentees] may just need to identify with someone in a position that they aspire to who looks like them, or comes from their country,” she says….

Javier Farfan

Javier Farfan has had to start from scratch more than once in his life, which is why he’s successful in a creative industry. “I got where I am in life by being open to everything and not limiting myself,” Farfan says. “I’ve never been afraid to take risks because I don’t think about failure.”…

Juan Sabater

After serving his new country in the armed forces, Juan Sabater put his Puerto Rican roots to work making a name for himself in corporate America. “[My roots make] me part of a great community and cousin to lots of great cultures. [They give] me a sense of identity.” …

Hernan Saenz

From the moment he arrived at Harvard, Hernan Saenz never wasted a moment. At Bain & Company and beyond, he encourages Latinos to embrace the opportunity he seized. “The thirst for success needs to come from the Latino community itself,” he says….

Glenn Flores

Glenn Flores studied biology at the insistence of a high-school mentor. Now he’s working to show Latino youth they have a place in higher education and medicine. “We have to get families interested in kids going into medicine,” he says….

Aída Álvarez

When her high school principal suggested college was out of her league, Aída Alvarez went Ivy. The Harvard grad and Walmart board director never settled for others’ expectations, nor is she complacent with the status of Latinos in corporate leadership….

José Estabil

It was crucial at Brown that José Estabil found a mentor who looked like him. At MIT, he has become the exemplar, taking an international approach to increasing Latino representation in the STEM fields. …

Monika Mantilla

Monika Mantilla knows the potential of the Hispanic market, and she is aiming to unleash it through capital investment. “The mold is changing. We’re changing it,” she says. “I feel very comfortable being an agent of change.”…

Gilbert Casellas

When the president of the United States first asked Gilbert Casellas to come work for the Pentagon, he turned it down. When he realized what the appointment meant for a generation of Hispanics, he changed his mind….

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